Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, June 22nd, 2018

The Transition Begins

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The Transition Begins

The withdrawal of U.S. troops that was announced by President Barrack Obama has started. In the first phase the most peaceful parts of the country are being handed over to Afghan forces. In the first ceremony for the same purpose on Sunday, July 17, 2011, Bamyan province was handed over to Afghan forces formally, which will follow transition of the other areas. First phase transition will involve the transfer of authorities in seven relatively peaceful areas of the country, including Kabul, Panjsher, northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Heratcity, the town of Mehtar Lam and Lashkargah – the capital of violent Helmand Province, which is also notorious for being the stronghold of Taliban. Though the transition has started, there are concerns regarding the future of the security arrangements in the country.

In the recent months the security condition in the country has deteriorated much as Taliban have turned very much offensive. In their recent operations they have adopted a different tactic, which has proved far more dangerous and costly for the Afghan forces, government and international forces. Recently, they have been able to target very important places and personalities. Their attack on the Inter-continental hotel, which is considered as one of the safest buildings in the capital Kabul, was able to make the people rethink about their security in the country. And they should really worry about their security as the President's own brother, with so much influence and power could not remain safe in his own house. Moreover, there have been many other incidents in the country that have shown the upper hand of Taliban over the Afghan security forces. The ongoing year so far has been considered as the most deadly one since the inception of the war against terrorism in the country as the number of civilians, Afghan security personnel and foreign troops who have been targeted by the terrorists has increased considerably.

Another major concern that yet remains serious is the non-professionalism of the Afghan security forces. One of the major problems regarding this issue is the fact that the personnel who have been recruited in Afghan forces do not have proper education. Mostly, they have been recruited by keeping in mind the required number not the quality. Therefore, though the number of the appointed personnel has increased, the quality has decreased, which has made the Taliban overcome them quiet easily. Further, they have not been able to carry on major operations by themselves. In this regard they have always depended on ISAF. One more factor, which has been a major concern, is the attitude of Afghan soldiers towards their trainers and their senior foreign officers. There have been many occasions when Afghan soldiers have attacked foreign officers and have most of the times killed them. Such incidents have not only resulted into death of valuable lives but have also defamed Afghan forces and have further raised questions about their intentions of providing security to their people.

The political scene in the country does not seem in the position to deal with the ongoing situation. The political wisdom of the people in authority is just limited to their own personal gains. The current clash between the judiciary and legislature is nothing more than the game of authority. The presidential office in this regard has been the initiator. The negligence of the political leadership of the country can be judged from the fact that they have not been able to chalk out political solutions to major issues like terrorism and crime though they have been receiving much support in this regard both morally and financially. The political platform that should have been present to replace the military operations and successes is no where to be seen. Though the government has been claiming that it has approached the Taliban leader and some sort of political reconciliation is being processed, but in reality nothing is to be found.

The expensive peace council has so far not been able to find out the resource person who can lead them to the Taliban leadership. President's own interest in this regard has not been successful as well. The failure of these attempts can be judged by the fact that the Taliban in response to these claims have further intensified their operations. Unfortunately, U.S. and European allies to the Afghan government also do not seem very much sure of the peace process with Taliban. They have decided to have representative from Taliban in the coming Bonn Conference but they are yet to find the actual authority on the Taliban side. They have been in the favor of political reconciliation before they completely withdraw their forces from Afghanistan and they seem to be in a hurry in this regard, which at the moment is not recommended. The war in Afghanistan has been the war of patience, a little more of it can prove better for every one who seems to find peace in the country.

With the start of the withdrawal of American forces the first and a very major step regarding the transition is on the way. It is as clear as crystal that the foreign troops can never stay here in Afghanistan for indefinite period of time. And currently, this war is also proving much expensive for them. They have been through economic recession and now their people demand more budgets to be spent for them. This particular factor has been one of the most dominating one behind the announcement of relatively larger drawdown by the American president.But through out the process one thing must be considered as the top priority – the current episode in Afghanistan must never be harmed on the basis of considerations which stand far less in importance. The priorities must be gauged with great care so that the imperatives are not neglected.

Transition must happen, but how and when it should be completed must be decided in accordance to the objective conditions. The people of Afghanistan are responsible for their land and they must shoulder the responsibility but they have to be assisted by international community. Afghanistan has been one of the lands that have become the victim of proxy wars. Many other countries have been influencing it in some way or the other. Now, they have the responsibility to have a share in its development as well albeit not for ever. And most importantly Afghan people have to rise to the occasion and strive for self-sufficiency.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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